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#400196 - 06/12/12 04:02 AM Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Anyone have tips on forcing yourself to turn in each night? I could use some tips.

My father was my perp, my brother was one of my torturers. Bed was where I was the most defenseless and vulnerable because I was asleep when either my brother or father came to assault me at night. My father was into sexual molestation and inflicting pain. My brother was into torturing and bullying me. He would wake me with my head being held under a pillow until I fainted from lack of oxygen.

Now, in my 50s, my dread of going to sleep or to bed has returned. I can sleep anywhere except a bed, and I can't bring myself to fall asleep until exhaustion leaves me no other choice.

If anyone has dealt with this and has suggestions, I will be grateful. Thanks.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#400197 - 06/12/12 04:52 AM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1354
Hi Keith,

Since it is now almost 5am, I cannot say I am very good at "forcing" myself to go to bed at times. Actually, I am working on a project, but I am also ignoring the signals that I need to lie down.

Regarding the difficulties with the bed itself, perhaps an alternative would suffice. Of course, this is easier if you are the sole occupant of your current sleeping arrangement or if you have enough room for a second sleeping accomdation.

For some, it is the actual mattress on the bed that causes the anxiety and other difficulties. If this is the case, perhaps something like a futon or a hammock would make things easier. Of course, your back has to agree to this, as well.

Sometimes changing the appearance of the bed - removing it from the frame or using a frame like that in a "captain's bed," to reduce or eliminate the movement and other cues, might be helpful.

If substituting something in lieu of the typical bed is not a viable option, perhaps desensitization might be useful.

Other things to try are grounding techniques. If you start doing the grounding techniques prior to going into the bedroom (about ten minutes) you will be more successful in reducing the anxiety, flashbacks, etc.

Learning new associations with the bed will help with the anxiety, too. If reading is not something you prefer to do, then something which forces you to use your mind such as doing soduku puzzles, may also help. Whether you are doing a grounding technique or something such as soduku, the intentional focus of your mind will reduce the amount of energy the mind can devote to the automatic processes of emotions. Also, doing puzzles or other mind exercises which require skills other than vocabulary, will make your mind exhausted from the exertion.

If you are not averse to it, medication can also help. To reduce the nightmares, flashbacks and body memories I either take ativan or benadryl.

Depending on your employment and other circumstances, changing when you go to sleep might help. Since the abuse happened at night, you might find it easier to sleep during the day. (I am a natural night owl. I prefer to go to sleep when the sun rises.)

The answer that will have the most enduring effectiveness for you is therapy, but that doesn't help you in the interim.
I wish I had more definitive answers for you.




Anomalous
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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#400199 - 06/12/12 05:29 AM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
Human Offline


Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 63
Loc: private
Maybe substitute your pillow with a bunched up thick bath towel.

Perhaps a 4 inch thick memory foam mattress topper, placed on the floor, would change up the "bed" enough to help you.

I'm sorry, I wish I could think of more suggestions.

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#400237 - 06/12/12 02:49 PM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Anom, this is great. Lots of things to try. Thanks!
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#400238 - 06/12/12 02:52 PM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Ya know, Human, I never thought of that before until you just mentioned it. The pillow may be a primary contributor to the issue. My father used a pillow to muffle my screams and my brother used it to stifle my breathing.

I'm trying the towel idea tonight.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#400287 - 06/12/12 11:16 PM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
maybe try a recliner chair?
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#400305 - 06/13/12 02:54 AM * [Re: WriterKeith]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/28/13 05:47 PM)

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#400343 - 06/13/12 01:46 PM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1354
Hi Keith,

There are other things that may bring you relief.

One is the Native American Dream Catcher. For a dream catcher to be most effective, it should be blessed by the shaman. The dream catcher should also be hung in the east window of the bedroom so that the rising sun can destroy the bad dreams (or on the wall which will receive the rising sun).

You can find information about Dream Catchers here.

Having a cleansing of your bedroom might also help. You can do this on your own or with the help of a religous leader.

HTH



Anomalous
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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#400369 - 06/13/12 08:34 PM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
when my wife and I got a new bed, we had it blessed by a priest. I know there is an official blessing for beds in the Roman Ritual.

It was very helpful to me because I saw my assault as a corruption of the marriage bed my wife and I share.

A lot of faiths have different ways of blessing or protecting the places where we sleep.

I can really empathize with what you are saying, Keith, since my assault took place in a bed and there are times when I avoid being there. My therapist has suggested getting a fishtank next to my bed and put a light inside it. Not only does it look nice but fish also are calming to watch and can give you something to focus on. A lava lamp also can be calming to look at if you are ok with your room looking a little on the groovy side.
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#400473 - 06/15/12 01:31 AM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Crux, you always....ALWAYS...come through. Thanks, I will add these to the list of things I'm trying...and I'm trying ALL of them!

May the road rise up to meet you.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#400474 - 06/15/12 01:32 AM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Thanks, Gary. Maybe we should all start a special "I can't sleep" chatroom! lol
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#400475 - 06/15/12 01:33 AM Re: Share Tips on Forcing Yourself to Bed each Night [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 953
Loc: southern California
Thanks, Anom, of course I've seen dream catchers before but I never knew their purpose or how they work.

I do have a bit of Native Am. Ind. blood in me, so maybe this will do the trick... or at least it may work on that part of my brain. Thanks
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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